There is a reason why the man married me.
Must be because I make his world look ridiculously easy to love. I am wife to Chuma and mother to Kenya, Kevin and Kambole. I am the woman behind the successful man. I am the woman behind the happy children. I am the woman behind the a happy woman makes a happy home. And that is why I still turn heads when I walk into a room of people. Old or young they will turn to face me and wonder who I am. And it is exactly what they do when I walk into the venue that is The Horse Shoe in my short white dress, heels and clutch to match.
I might not have wanted to attend this event earlier but I’m here now and I’ll make the most of it. Chuma enjoys inviting me to these silly events which I have no interest in all they ever discuss at their table is work among the men, and marriage and dress codes among the women. Everyone is seated, music playing from the band but they all turn to stare at me. I see the back of the man I’m looking for and I walk into the large area full of tables. That’s the effect of being a woman like me. A middle aged man and his wife stand up to greet me as I make my way to my husband’s table. I stop to shake their hands. They mention something about being grateful for the braii we invited them to attend at our home weeks ago. I smile at them all the while my eyes are on one man. I walk away from the couple and continue on my way to the man who has my attention. He looks at me as I walk towards his table. I know I’m late but being late is okay if you look like me.
Chuma the cheater. Chuma the liar. Chuma the husband. Chuma the father. Chuma the business man. Hard to believe they are all the same man. Tall, light with dark eyes for show. His full dental smile on display, dimples in effect in his dark suit. He likes what he sees and he’s proud to show it. Can he tell I’ve had two shots of tequila already? He stands up as I approach him and he outstretches his arms to accommodate me with a light kiss on my lips. His lips are soft like the cheater that he is. Disappointing. But yet it does not stop my heart from beating faster. Blame it on the alcohol. Yes tequila gives me a rush.
“You’re late.” He whispers.
“Hmm. You look nice.” I whisper with a smile.
He smiles back at me, the man could never get angry with me when I smiled. And he won’t tonight. Besides I don’t care about his timings and plans. After the day I’ve had I do not care one single bit about what he thinks he wants from me. The perfect wife is gone. After what I have found out I don’t care if he wants to talk or not. He pulls an empty chair out, I sit down and he sits next to me. I say my forced “hellos” to his colleagues around the table and give them my best-I-am-happy smile.
“Are you okay?” He asks loud enough for me to hear him.
“Yep. I’m perfect. I’m here ain’t I?”
“I called you earlier. Thought you weren’t coming.”
“And miss this party. No. I had things to do. But I’m here now.”
“I missed you.” He says.
He leans in to kiss my bare shoulder. I should be slapping him right now. But I’m patient. I will wait for the right time. He places his hand on my thigh and he continues to chat with those around the table while I reach out for his glass of red wine and take a sip. Nice. I hope they have more of this wine. The topic around the table must be boring if nobody is laughing. I’m not interested in the conversation around me. I’m only interested in one man. My dear husband Chuma. I look at him as he talks to those around him, he has their attention, he is charismatic and I know he commands respect. Probably how he got the little Tasha to sleep with him. How many are they I question him mentally. Are there others like Tasha? Do they all know that you you had an STI except me? Do they care that you are married with three children? What is it about you that they can’t resist? What do they see that I don’t see? Why cheat on me? Am I not enough? Do I not break my back for you enough? Do I not dance in bed for you enough? I need answers from him.
They laugh at the table and I’m jolted from my thoughts. Chuma’s hand goes higher up my thigh and he squeezes my thigh softly. What does he want. What does this mean? He wants me now? This is isn’t the time for signals. There might have been a time when squeezing my thigh would make me stand up and head outside to our car, waiting for him without my panties. But now it infuriates me. Does he know I have his other phone? Does he know I went to see his trash? Of course he must know. He keeps those gadgets so near to him every day and night. Surprising he let me use his phone today and even more shocking he left it with me. I wish I could hit him with the phone itself. But no. I am the perfect wife. The wife of Chuma. Well behaved and respected. I do not make scenes. No. I burn homes in private. Always in private.
His hand stays on my thigh for most of the night. He never lets go. He throws in random kisses on my shoulder, cheek and lips. Probably for show but it has its desired effect, the women wish they were in my heels and the men? Well it wouldn’t end at kissing. I try to make conversation at the table with Chuma’s colleagues, especially the very handsome – but not as handsome as my husband – gentleman sitting next to me. All he talks about is banking this, saving that; pretty much a boring conversation and to be honest I’m using him to ignore Chuma and his roaming hand. It is only during dinner that he lets go – something about needing two hands to eat. Weird.
The meal is absolutely amazing, so is the wine while the conversation still sucks. But with the wine flowing I don’t really mind. All in all I can say it’s a good lazy night. But I want to go home. Pretending to be happy is tiring. I squeeze Chuma’s arm, he looks at me and he understands what I want. The smile on his face tells me everything. It’s the only reason he would be wiling to leave this party. Chuma stands up and notifies his colleagues that he has to leave, something about making sure I have my beauty rest for a trip or whatever he says. All lies. And I do not argue with him, I agree with him in front of everyone, giving him that look of love mixed with lust with a hint of promises for the night to come. The men around the table must envy him right now. Of course they do, seeing our life from the outside and not the cracks within. I’m grateful he wants to go home even if it’s by force. Besides I need to talk to him in private. Thank God I got one of my friends to drive me here. Now I know I will be going home with my husband. He has no other plans now whether he likes it or not.
He holds my hand as we walk out. We are the “It Couple.” People look at us and want what we have. We make it work. And yet behind closed doors I’ve been drinking and searching for a way to face the fact my once amazing husband is a cheat. But no more. Chuma never lets go of my hand. Romantic as ever, he kisses my hand as we walk outside. As ever the perfect gentleman that he is, Chuma opens the door for me and helps me into the car, my blue Mercedes-Benz E250. Of course he drove my car because I had his. See what’s his is mine. He closes the door for me as I buckle up my seatbelt.
He sits in the driver’s seat and starts the car. It purrs to perfection. I love the sound of it. A gift from Chuma on my birthday. Ooohh that was a good birthday. The dinner, flowers and gifts. Plus the night after still gives me chills. And off he drives, never below sixty km/h. No. That’s too slow for him. He lives for the fast lane and fast he goes. We do not need to talk in the car, we are comfortable with each other that words are of no use to us anymore. Five years of marriage down to this mess. What would he do if I slapped him right now. What if I gripped the steering wheel and turned it. That would kill us both and over a girl like Tasha. I deserve better. Not a twenty-four seven cheating type of man. I close my eyes and let the sounds of the engine take me away from my present situation. I need rest. I’m about to lose it. I am so close to the edge.
He gets us home fast enough, and he parks the car in its spot – next to his land cruiser V8. I unbuckle my seatbelt while he opens my door and helps me out of the car. He locks the car and takes my hand as we head to our home.
“You look gorgeous.” He says. “White is your colour.”
He turns me so we are face to face. He kisses my cheek while his hand slips to my back. He smells so nice, Luck by Avon for men is his scent. Good choice. Luck for him and I. Oh and Tasha. I push him slightly and he grabs my hand. Oh he’s in the mood.
“Tasha says hi.” I say aloud.
The earth spins on its own axis. Mine just added in another spin and now it’s out of control. Did Alexis just mention Tasha? How the hell did she find out? How much does she know about Tasha? I’ve been behaving. I’ve not seen her in weeks. I haven’t called her either. Maybe I heard her wrong. Maybe she said something else and Tasha is on my mind instead. Do I miss her that much? Not really. Let’s be honest she’s a girl I found when Alexis wasn’t ready to have sex after she had Kambole. I’m selfish. Maybe I should have waited, after all Alexis was bound to get better. But when a man wants it then a man wants it no matter what.
I didn’t tell Alexis. Who the hell tells his wife he met another woman? Tasha was meant to be a short fling but gosh the girl had skills. Short term because longer. I guess different is better than usual or so they say and Tasha was definitely different. I got Tasha anything she needed. Whatever she needed. No matter the price. I had to keep her happy. And to be honest if you want to be a cheater you have to be smart. Never get caught. So a simple solution is to get your wife and mistress the same things. Perfumes. Gadgets. Jewellery. Lingerie. Cars. Why? So that you never get lost and have your mouth run crazy trying to explain why you mixed up her surprise gift. I was smart. I played smart. And it was good while it lasted. It was good before Tasha started to demand more of my time. Time I wasn’t willing to give. She didn’t know I was married but she sure as hell didn’t ask either. You would think she would be curious but no, the gifts kept her occupied. Probably another man kept her occupied too if the STI I got is anything to go by. But I got medication for it before I thought of sleeping with Alexis. I couldn’t let my wife get the disease as well. I respected her too much for that. She’s been through it all with me and I owe her and our children the world.
Because of the STI, I lost interest in the end. Tasha denied she got it from another man. I figured she got enough from me so I went silent on her. It wasn’t as if she would miss me. She was happy. And well I had to be home. Kambole was sick and I figured I needed time to rekindle the romance in my marriage. Tasha was history to me. And besides I had another lady in mind as the next conquest. She was proving to be difficult but all in due time.
I look at my beautiful wife, Alexis. The love of my life. Mother of my children. She is a force to be reckoned with. Step on her toes and she might cut your foot off with her bread knife. Crazy and sweet all rolled up into one. But I love her anyway. Flaws and all she is perfection. I try to pull her to me and she resists. She’s not playing with me. I am so in the mood for what I know she does best between the sheets. Gosh I’m willing to use the car if it comes down to it.
“Tasha says hi. She told me to tell you she loves everything you got her.” Alexis says.
I freeze. I heard her right the first time. The smile on her face tells me she knows it all. The same smile tells me she is not pleased. It also says if she had her bread knife she wouldn’t hesitate to use it.
His hand grips my hand so hard that I pull it before he causes damage. He looks at me and smiles. You’re not getting away from this with that smile.
“What are you talking about?” He asks
I laugh then. He will lie through his teeth if he has to. Act innocent if he must. Because he loves me he says. I take my clutch, open it, get his phone and hand it to him. His eyes betray his thoughts. I smile at him as I place his phone in his jacket pocket. Did he really forget I had his phone.
“I know all about Tasha, Chuma.”
He looks at me like I just poured cold water on him. I should have poured cold water on him. On ice. What’s left to say. Nothing.
“How many are there Chuma?” I ask. “Five? You know what’s funny? You have me in our bed Every night. And most nights you want it. But you still find time for other women?”
“Alexis. What the hell?”
“You’re gonna deny it? You’ll say I’m being paranoid. Should we go through your phone again?” I ask.
“Have you had too much to drink?”
“Yes. But it still doesn’t change the fact that Tasha exists.”
His brown eyes meet mine. The same brown eyes I look into everyday and night in whatever position they never change. They are the same brown eyes that other women get to see in the dark too. I feel hurt and jealous that he gets to be vulnerable with them too when it was supposed to be my privilege.
“I also know about the STI.” I whisper. “The STI you chose not to tell me about. That you got and so it fit to give to me. Your wife who has a baby. Do you even care about me?”
His shoulders slump. Yes. Finally. I know everything. Liar. Cheater. I don’t want to hear a word from him. I no longer want to know if there are more. I shake my head and walk away from him towards the front door.
“Babe wait. Tasha and I have been over for a long time.”
I stop and turn around to face him.
“So there are more?” I ask. “Do you have a new lady?”
He shakes his head and I laugh. Is he being honest? Should I believe him? Do I even want to believe him?
“Uh huh.” I respond.
I shake my head and continue my walking to our home.
“Honey I love you.”
“I love you too.”
I stand, turn around and face him. I lift my hand and throw my clutch in his direction. The perfect aim. He does not expect my reaction and the clutch hits him right in the face. He groans and touches the spot the clutch introduced itself to him. Ahh that will leave a mark. He deserves more than that. I could use my heels too I think as I watch him pick up the clutch. Or maybe I shouod have waited till he went to sleep. Maybe I should have poured hot water on him. I could run to the car and drive it over his body. But I will not do such a thing and wake up my children. They don’t need to see mummy upset and dangerous. What did I ever do to deserve this? Gosh. This is the man I loved for years. I turn away and keep walking.
“For crying out loud Alexis. That hurt.” He says
“I don’t care. You deserve more than that.”
“We can talk about this.” He says. “Anger is not the answer.”
Ha! Now he wants to preach to me? What a day! I laugh out loud. Tasha obviously listened to me and didn’t call him. Thank God. He might as well know everything now. I stop and face him.
“I went to see her. Tasha. Let’s talk about how you paid for everything she has.”
His eyes widen and I laugh again.
“You saw her?” He asks.
“Yes. Hours ago. She’s pretty. How old is she? Twenty-two?”
“Alexis… What did you do?”
Oh now he’s worried about his mistress. He should be.
“We talked. She has a mouth neh. Lips to match. I could have sworn her lips were shaped by you.” I say pointing at his trousers.
“What else did you do?” He asks
“Nothing. Though maybe I should have hit her car. The same one you got me. Or maybe I should poured water on her. To stop her from smelling like me. Gosh Chuma. I’m your wife.”
Silence. That is all he knows now. Silence. And I’m not waiting for a lie to be formed. No way no how.I turn and walk away from him. He says nothing more. He doesn’t take a step to follow me. He obviously has to call poor sweet Tasha and check on her. I find the door to the house unlocked. The maid is awake. She’s probably listening to our argument right now. Not my finest moment. I should have waited. Well it’s all out there. No turning back now.
“I want a divorce.” I say aloud and I walk into our home.
“Baby.” He starts
“Divorce Chuma.” I respond.
I want a divorce.
I’m done. Am I? I love my husband. I’m a house wife. Isn’t this what he wanted of me. To be a house wife taking care of our children. He made me into his trophy stay at home wife and he paid for everything I needed. And now I should start over again. Gosh the process. I look at him and I shake my head. What a disappointment.
I’ll play with his heart a little bit longer. He deserves to get a taste of his own medicine.
“You’re sleeping in the car tonight. Don’t you dare think of driving out of here.” I yell. “Don’t you dare call her either boo.”
“Alexis. Listen. It was nothing. I swear it was nothing. I haven’t seen her in a while. I haven’t spoken to her either.”
“Of course it was. I’ll believe you tomorrow. Good night baby.”
I close the door and lock it. That should teach him a lesson about women scorned.
In your face Shipikisha I think.
“Fu*k.” He says aloud. “Alexis. Open the door.”
He knocks on the door. Ahhhh the sweet smell of revenge.
And I smile as I lean against the door.
It’s gonna be a good night. Where the hell is the tequila?
“Goodnight Chuma.” I whisper.